The Dan Duquette-Blue Jays saga has dragged on for more than a month, and finally may be close to reaching its conclusion. The Orioles and Blue Jays are "getting closer" on a resolution, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, with ESPN.com's Buster Olney reporting that the sides have discussed pitching prospect Jeff Hoffman as potential compensation.
As most know by now, word leaked during the Winter Meetings that the Jays were searching for a new club president to replace Paul Beeston, and that Duquette, who is under contract as the Orioles' general manager, was their prime candidate. Both sides declined to discuss the issue publicly during that time, and appear to have continued discussing compensation over the last month. Orioles' owner Peter Angelos has consistently stated that he expected Duquette to serve the remainder of his contract with the Orioles, though significant-enough compensation may make the team's brass change their minds and let Duquette pursue the promotion north of the border.
Hoffman, 22, was the ninth-overall pick in the draft last season after Tommy John surgery derailed his chances at being the top overall pick. He has not thrown a professional pitch after signing a $3.1 million signing bonus with the Jays, but is slated to be ready to pitch at some point during this season and is still seen as a high-ceiling prospect. If Toronto wants Duquette badly enough, they may have to send Hoffman to the Orioles, in what would be a surprising move considering their investment of a top-10 pick and $3.1 million in the right-hander.
Precedent for executive compensation suggests that Hoffman would be too steep of a price to pay; the Red Sox only received right-handers Chris Carpenter and Aaron Kurcz in exchange for Epstein and minor-leaguer Jair Bogaerts. That deal happened months after the Sox originally requested Starlin Castro and Matt Garza in compensation talks, so the discussion of Hoffman's name may just be the Orioles aiming high at the beginning of talks.